Austin’s iconic SXSW festival was just canceled for the first time in its 34-year history over coronavirus concerns. Here’s what it’s like in the growing tech hub of ‘Silicon Hills.’

  • Austin, Texas, is the fastest-growing major metro area in the US with a vibrant music scene and a relatively low cost of living.
  • It’s where many are moving to from the pricey Silicon Valley tech region.
  • Big tech has noticeably made itself more at home in the capital city in the last decade, but the industry has a long history in Austin.
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Austin, Texas, is a hotbed for millennials, has a vibrant music scene, and is the country’s fastest-growing major metro area. 

It’s also where droves of tech talent from Silicon Valley and beyond are headed if they haven’t landed there already. 
Google, Facebook, Atlassian, and Oracle have thousands of workers in Austin collectively. And most recently, Apple announced that it’s shelling out $1 billion for a new campus in North Austin, with the potential to add 15,000 more workers to its existing 7,000.

Austin’s considerably lower cost of living offers a nice reprieve from the sky-high costs in the Bay Area. It also has a vibrant movie scene like its annual South by Southwest media and music festival, which was just canceled this year due to concerns surrounding the outbreak of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19. 

Big tech has grown more in the last eight years especially, but the tech boom isn’t Austin’s first rodeo — the industry has a long history in the capital city.

Here’s how the tech industry has ballooned in Austin — and why “Silicon Hills” is so appealing to workers and companies alike.

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